Did you know that Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been a constant presence on the Formula 1® calendar for the past 27 years? Learn more in Fast Facts!
Jarama, Montjuïc & Jerez
The first Spanish Grand Prix was held in 1913, but the race did not feature in the early years of the modern World Championship. After holding a non-Championship race at Jarama in 1967, the Spanish Grand Prix returned to the calendar proper the following year at the same circuit north of Madrid. From 1969-1975, the Spanish Grand Prix alternated between Jarama and the Montjuïc street circuit in Barcelona, before the latter was removed from the calendar after five spectators were killed in 1975. After a four-year absence, the Spanish Grand Prix moved to a new home at the Jerez circuit for five years from 1986-1990, where Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna took two victories each.
Circuit de (Barcelona)-Catalunya
A new track was constructed in 1991 on the outskirts of Barcelona as the city geared up to host the Olympic Games the following year. Circuit de Catalunya, as it was known, even served as the start/finish line for the road team time trial cycling event during the games. Nigel Mansell won the first two races at the new circuit in 1991-1992 and Williams-Renault took the honours for the first four years. Renamed Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2013 after signing a sponsorship deal with Barcelona City Council, the track has been a constant presence on the Formula 1® calendar for the past 27 years. The circuit has also been used extensively for F1® testing due to its favourable layout and generally better weather in the European winter (notwithstanding this year’s snow!).
A second round of the World Championship was held in Spain between 2008-2012 when the Valencia Street Circuit hosted the European Grand Prix. Using public roads in the harbour of the city, the race was initially popular but fell victim to the economic downturn in Spain brought on by the Global Financial Crisis. Local hero Fernando Alonso took a popular win on home soil in the last race at the circuit in 2012. Michael Schumacher also took his final F1® podium at the same race at the age of 43 years and 173 days.
Mixing it up
In the ten-year period from 2007-2016, the Spanish Grand Prix was won by ten different drivers! In fact, no current driver has more than two wins to their name at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Kimi Räikkönen (2005, 2008), Fernando Alonso (2006, 2013) and Lewis Hamilton (2014, 2017) are all looking for their third win at the circuit in 2018.
Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in Spanish Grand Prix history, with six wins between 1995 and 2004, all at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Schumacher also posted the largest winning margin at the circuit when he won in 1995 by 51.988 seconds from team mate Johnny Herbert and lapped everyone apart up to fourth place! The most successful constructor in Spain is Ferrari with twelve wins, followed by McLaren and Williams with eight wins apiece.
Youngest race winner
Max Verstappen became the youngest winner in F1® history (18 years, 228 days) by some margin when he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Verstappen took the record from Sebastian Vettel, who won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix aged 21 years, 73 days. Vettel still holds the record as the youngest Grand Prix pole sitter (also from 2008 Italian GP), though Verstappen can also take this record if he secures his first pole before the end of the 2018 season.